Why Do Calories Matter Isnt A Keto Macronutrient Calculator Useless If I Am Already Limiting Carbs
After hearing about the keto diet and how it helps you burn fat, you may be wondering why we even have a keto calculator. According to many low carb diet proponents, all that really matters when it comes to losing fat is cutting the carbs Isnt this true?
High-quality research studies have been published on this specific topic, and the data clearly shows that regardless if you are on a high carb or low carb diet you will lose weight if you are in a calorie deficit and gain weight if you are in a calorie surplus. For a closer look at the research and why calories matter, check out this article.
Due to the irrefutable importance of calorie consumption for weight loss and weight gain, a keto macro calculator is one of the most valuable tools that you can use to increase your chances of diet success.
Protein: What Should Be The Portion Size
As a part of a 2,000 calorie diet- 50 grams of protein intake is recommended in adults each day. Or, in other terms, 25-35% of your total calories should come from protein- to have a healthy diet.
Specifying exact amounts, however, depends on factors like- age, gender, activity level, and medical condition
You can meet the requirements by either having 5 small meals, each having some portion of protein. Or by having protein packed three meals.
Things that you can include to meet your daily requirements are: Tofu, edamame, tempeh, lentils, chickpea, quinoa, almonds, peanuts, beans with rice, lean meat, green leafy vegetables and eggs.
How Many Carbs Should You Have Each Day
- < 50g/day = low-carb
- < 20g/day = keto
Many readers like to begin by simply reducing their carbs to a level that is sustainable and weight loss still occurs.
Learn how to count carbs to really highlight where your carbs are coming from AND to stop carb creep. Carb counting keeps you honest and accountable.
To work out your carbs, protein, and fat limits to enjoy each day, use the FREE macro calculator.
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Ease Into Fat Adaption
When you begin your low-carb journey, you may find some high-fat foods taste too rich. Be patient. As you transition to your new way of eating, both your body and your taste buds will adjust.5 Work up to eating enough fat to avoid hunger and allow your body time to settle into its new pattern of burning fat instead of carbohydrates.
When you find that balance, hunger will likely diminish as your body enjoys easy access to the bodys fat stores that were locked away by a high-carb diet. This is when you may want to back off on the amount of fat you eat so you can prioritize burning your body fat stores instead.
Older People And Children Have Increased Protein Needs
Growing children have a higher RDA for protein than adults , which empirically makes sense given the higher growth rate.16 Then as we become young adults, our protein needs arent as high as childrens relative to our height and body weight. But as we approach old age, our needs increase again.
Health organizations in the US, European, and most other countries recommend a minimum daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram for all adults aged 19 and older.17
However, several experts in protein research believe that people over 65 need a minimum of 1.2 grams per kg daily to counteract muscle loss and other age-related changes.18
For example, in a study of older women, consuming more than 1.1 gram of protein per kg every day was linked to a decreased risk of frailty, a condition marked by weakness, loss of strength, and other changes that often occur during the aging process.19
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Could Increase The Risk Of Disordered Eating For Some
While macronutrient tracking can help people reach their health goals, it may trigger disordered eating in some individuals.
Research has found a strong association between food and fitness tracking and the development of eating disorders, especially in young women .
One study found that 73% of college students diagnosed with eating disorders believed that using tracking apps contributed to the development of their condition .
Its important for healthcare professionals to screen for eating disorders before recommending diets such as IIFYM.
While IIFYM is flexible, its still a diet. Its important to ensure you are getting enough micronutrients on this plan and to seek professional guidance as needed. IIFYM may not be appropriate for everyone, especially people with serious medical conditions.
What Exactly Do The Results Mean
After you entered all of your data and calculated your macros, you will get results that look something like this:
Lets start with the calories. Simply put, a calorie is a basic unit of energy that helps us understand how much energy we can potentially get from the food we eat. Calorie intake is one of the most critical variables to be aware of when you are trying to change your body composition.
If you eat fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight then you will lose weight. Conversely, eating more calories than you need to maintain your weight will cause you to gain weight.
Notice that I am saying weight loss and weight gain rather than fat loss and gain. By manipulating your calorie consumption, you will predictably change the numbers on the scale, but whether or not those numbers reflect a strong bias toward fat loss depends on the other numbers from your keto macro calculator results.
Fat, muscle, and water can all be lost and gained during the course of your diet. The proportion of weight you lose as fat, muscle, and water depends heavily upon the macronutrient content of your diet . If youd like to learn more about the macronutrients, check out our guide to macros.
Protein is essential for maintaining and gaining muscle mass. Eating less protein than recommended by our keto calculator will typically cause you to lose more muscle mass while eating the right amount of protein will help you maintain or gain muscle mass .
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Have A Protein Shake For Breakfast
Many smoothies contain a lot of fruit, vegetables, or juice, but very little protein.
However, a shake or smoothie can be a great breakfast option, especially if you choose nutritious ingredients.
Whey protein powder has been studied the most and seems to have an edge over the others when it comes to helping you feel full (
Heres a basic whey shake recipe:
Whey Protein Shake
- 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of whey powder
- 1 cup of fresh berries
- stevia or another healthy sweetener, if desired
- 1/2 cup of crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Having a protein shake for breakfast helps you start the day off right. Whey may be the best type to use.
Its Flexible And Easier To Stick To
With IIFYM, its easy to plan your meals around your lifestyle without feeling limited.
For example, if you know youll be dining out, you can look up nutrition information ahead of time and then adjust the rest of your meals for the day as needed.
This flexibility can make IIFYM easier to stick to since youre less likely to feel restricted.
IIFYM works for all sorts of people, including those following special diets like vegan, vegetarian, paleo or gluten-free.
Since there are no special restrictions, all types of cuisines and cooking styles fit into the IIFYM plan.
IIFYM is a flexible alternative to traditional dieting. Since all foods are allowed, many people find it easier to stick to, increasing the likelihood of reaching their goals.
While there are many benefits to IIFYM, it has some downsides as well.
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The Quality Of Your Diet Still Matters
Calories are useful for tracking how much you eat, but they dont tell you much about the quality of your diet .
When it comes to foods and the human body, a calorie is not necessarily a calorie.
For example, 100 calories of broccoli will affect your health differently than 100 calories of french fries.
This is important because your overall diet and the types of foods you eat have an effect on your health .
High-quality foods not only provide health benefits, but they also make it a lot easier to consume fewer calories in the long run.
Basing your diet on minimally processed foods is beneficial for long-term health and weight loss.
Why Should I Eat So Few Carbs
There are numerous benefits that are scientifically proven on the ketogenic diet. On keto, its a general rule of thumb to stay under 30g net carbs a day. We recommend for weight loss to stay at or below 20g net carbs a day.
The end goal of a ketogenic diet is to be in a metabolic state known as ketosis. We do this through starvation of carbohydrates.
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Easy Ways To Increase Your Protein Intake
Getting enough protein is important for your health.
For this reason, the Daily Value for protein is 50 grams per day.
However, some researchers believe that many people should be eating significantly more than this amount .
A high protein intake offers several potential health benefits and could help increase weight loss, enhance muscle growth, and improve your overall health.
Here are 14 easy ways to eat more protein.
Your Ideal Daily Carb Intake:
Remember the daily calorie intake you calculated before? Subtract calories from protein and calories from fat from that amount. Whatever amount of calories are still left over, those calories will come from carbs.
Heres an example:
- You calculated that you need to eat 2000 calories per day to lose weight or build muscle.
- Next, you figured out that you need to eat 150 grams of protein per day. Since 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, that means 600 of this example persons daily calories will come from protein.
- Since 25% of your calories should come from fat, this example can calculate that, 500 of their 2000 daily calories will come from fat . To figure out how many grams of fat that would be, theyd just divide 500 by 9 and get about 55 grams of fat per day.
- So thats 600 calories from protein plus 500 calories from fat which gives this person 1100 calories accounted for so far .
- Now just subtract 1100 from their 2000 total and get 900 left over calories. Since 1 gram of carbs contains 4 calories, this example person can see that they should eat 225 grams of carbs per day .
Just repeat this same process using your actual daily calorie, protein, fat and carb intake instead of the example amounts used in the example above.
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What’s The Difference Between Fat And Calories
Fat is one of six nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. The other five nutrients are:
Of these six nutrients, carbohydrates, protein and fats provide calories. Each gram of carbohydrate and protein yield 4 calories/gram. Each gram of fat yields 9 calories.
A calorie is a measurement, just like a teaspoon or an inch. Calories are the amount of energy released when your body breaks down food. The more calories a food has, the more energy it can provide to your body. When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as body fat. Even a fat-free food can have a lot of calories. Excess calories in any form can be stored as body fat.
Recommended Carbohydrate Intake For Athletes
Carbohydrates serve as the main source of fuel during exercise, which is why its so important for athletes to consume adequate amounts. This ensures that they have readily available carbohydrate stores in the muscle, liver, and bloodstream.
Carb requirements will vary based on activity:
- For most moderately active people, a well-balanced diet that supplies about half of the calories from carbohydrates should be adequate.
- Endurance athletes may need proportionately more, generally in the range of 55 to 65 percent of total calories.
- Ultra-endurance athletes, such as those who participate in events lasting longer than 4 hours, need even more: up to 75 percent of their total calories from carbohydrates.
Sports dietitians prefer to calculate carbohydrate needs according to bodyweight rather than a percentage of calories because it gives the athlete a specific intake goal:
- For general training, athletes are advised to take in 2.5 to 3 grams per pound of body weight ).
- Endurance athletes need more the goal is 3 to 4.5 grams per pound of body weight .
- Ultra-endurance athletes who engage in competitions that last for four hours or more may need 5 grams per pound of bodyweight, or more .
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What Counts As A Low Carb Diet
Theres no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a low carb diet, and whats low for one person may not be low for the next.
An individuals optimal carb intake depends on their age, gender, body composition, activity levels, personal preference, food culture, and current metabolic health.
People who are physically active and have more muscle mass can tolerate a lot more carbs than people who are sedentary. This particularly applies to those who do a lot of high intensity exercise, like lifting weights or sprinting.
Metabolic health is also a very important factor. When people develop metabolic syndrome, obesity, or type 2 diabetes, their carb needs change.
People who fall into these categories are less able to tolerate a lot of of carbs.
The optimal carb intake varies between individuals, depending on activity levels, current metabolic health, and many other factors.
Good Carbs Vs Bad Carbs
Carbohydrates are important to health as is staying at the correct weight. It is important to note that not all carbs are the same, however.
Carbohydrates are commonly referred to as either good carbs or bad carbs. When trying to follow a healthful diet, and especially when trying to lose weight, carbohydrate intake should focus on good carbs over bad carbs.
Good carbs are complex carbohydrates, which means they are high in fiber and nutrients and take longer to break down. As they take longer to break down, they do not cause blood sugar levels to spike or rise too high.
Examples of good carbs include:
- whole fruit with the skin on
- whole grains
- high-fiber vegetables, such as sweet potatoes
- high-fiber beans and legumes
Bad carbs are simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down and quickly cause blood sugar levels to spike.
Examples of bad carbs include:
- white sugar, bread, pasta, and flour
- sugary drinks and juices
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Calculate Your Maintenance Calories
No matter what goal you have in mind, calculating your macros and maintenance calories allows you to figure out how many calories you need to eat daily in order to maintain your weight. Everyone will have a slightly different amount of maintenance calories as it can vary with age, gender, activity level, and other factors.
Why Do You Need To Know My Activity Level
This will give us an idea of how much the minimum amount of calories your body will burn in a day. Our keto calculator uses this to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate . We use this number, along with your body fat percentage, to estimate how many calories youll need for your goals.
The BMR is simply a number of calories we burn while our bodies are at rest and from eating and digesting food. Together they form whats known as TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. This is the keto calculators estimate for your total calories burned per day. If you use a heart rate monitor or third party software to monitor your calories, you can use the custom input in the activity level section for an even more accurate macro profile.
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How Metabolic Types Impact Dieting
Suppose you have tried changing up your diet. No matter your goal, you already know that fad diets tend to cater to the masses and not individuals.
While a one-size-fits-all approach to making health and wellness gains is a fantastic notion, our bodies deal with caloric intake and energy expenditure differently.
One of the most influential factors is metabolism. Metabolism is not as simple as fast or slow. If someone you know lives a sedentary lifestyle yet stays effortlessly trim, that does not mean they have a fast metabolism.
Our metabolism represents a dynamic behind-the-scenes process constantly underway on a microscopic level in your body. This process is responsible for creating, transferring, storing energy , and clearing cellular waste .These metabolic cycles happen in the name of homeostasis or to reach a state of balance. It not only regulates energy but also has an impact on weight. Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, dictates how many calories you need for your body to have the energy to perform essential functions at rest. These include
- Regulating temperature
- cellular growth
The number of calories needed varies between people of different ages, genders, and body compositions. For example, men with high muscle mass tend to have a higher BMR or burn more calories at rest.
So, what does that mean for dieting?